Reminds me of when I was a teenager and...well, first let me give you some background. I was a geek. A nerd. And a comic book junkie. Spiderman was my drug of choice. My one and only BFF was a Batman devotee. Every Saturday we would ride our bikes up to the 94th St. mall and get our fix at Geppy's Comics.
At some point, I got a wild hair and decided to write a fan letter. (Lots of people did.) Not only did they print the letter in the back of comic in the fan letter section, but they included my complete address. (They did this to everyone. I doubt they do it today.)
Now, you must understand that A. a girl reading comics was a rarity, B. Kristen is always a girl's name, C. the almost entirely male comic book audience was smart enough to do the math.
Letters began pouring in. Letters from other comic book geeks. Other male comic book geeks. There were times when my mother had to go to the post office to pick up our mail because it would not fit into the mailbox. It came in bucket loads. This continued until the last few letters trickled away while I was in college.
A few of the guys I wrote back to and developed friendships with. There was one in Milton Keynes, England. A US Army soldier in Germany. A very sweet guy in Buffalo, NY. They sent clothes, comics, mix tapes, drawings, photos, diamond jewelry, came to visit me...and asked me to marry them. One of them also stood me up for prom, but I digress.
Anyway, that was my experience with pen pals. Did you have any as a kid? Or has the age of email changed all that?